I am trying to improve my consideration of higher levels. Here's what I have for my current framework and my current understanding of what things mean. Of course, it's largely based on the book!
Actions: activities that can be done in one sitting and are sufficiently clear to me and concrete such that there will be no procrastination.
Project: Each a succession of more than one action that are required to achieve a clear outcome. The outcome must be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely). Each project has a least one next action on my action list.
Immediate goals: These are goals that are also SMART and are short term (for the coming months).
Longer term goals: These are SMART goals for the longer term. Some of the immediate goals will be for working towards these longer term goals.
Areas of Focus: This is a list of general areas of my life that I know will need attention in my life. These less SMART areas are still useful for prompting me to think of more clearly defined goals and projects.
Principles: These are general principles and concepts I wish to keep in mind when I consider new areas of focus, goals and projects.
All these are lists, though for actions and projects they are lists in Outlook Tasks while the others are just a list in an Outlook Note.
I have been working with this framework for over a year but never really discussed it with people on the forum.
I am concerned sometimes that my immediate goals can be very similar to my projects!
My most successful weekly/higher level reviews are often those where I redefine actions to be more clear and concrete such that I won't procrastinate so much; when I define my projects better, often making them more modest, such that I am more motivated to do them; and when my consideration of goals and areas of focus has successfully prompted a lot more projects and actions.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't so much, and I often wish I could capture why it works when it does! I'm groping here for ideas and pointers on how to improve on these higher level reviews which when they do work make such a difference to one's life and the stuff I get done.